Saturday, May 29, 2004

Photos of Michael

The other night I caught Michael playing with his reflection in the mirror.  I had never seen him do that before.  I didn't have the camera ready, so I didn't get to snap a shot in time.  But I wanted to share some photos of him, so here are some shots of him taken down through the years.  The resolution isn't too good on them, so you are going to have to view them large if you want to get a good view.  I hope you enjoy these. 

I hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day Weekend.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Today is a Beautiful Day

Today is a beautiful day.  It is a lot cooler outside, and the air isn't hazy, so I was able to turn off the air conditioner and open all the windows.  My lungs are doing a lot better now.  I have made an appointment for next week to make sure I don't have the problem of running to the ER all summer for asthma attacks. 

It is so nice with the windows open.  If feel like I am not so disconnected from the outside world.  I love the fresh air.  I love to hear the outside noises.  I love to hear the birds singing.  Of course right now I don't just hear birds.  I also hear a chain saw.  It kind of spoils the serenity, but nothing can spoil my mood right now.

Light Weigh                                                                               Last night I went to my weight loss group.  It is a group within the Catholic Church and it is called Light Weigh.  Since I started going (three weeks ago) I have lost 5 1/2 pounds (notice how I claim the half pound - every half pound counts!).  More important than the weight loss is the spiritual growth that I have gotten.  It has really strengthened my relationship with the Lord.  If anyone would like to lose weight, and this program comes to your church, i would seriously suggest you consider it.  And you don't need to be Catholic to go to it.  If I didn't lose a pound I would still go to it for the spiritual benefits, but let's face it, I need to lose some weight, and I am going to stick with it until I do.  I know I can, because I have been losing weight for awhile (for about a year now).  I just need to lose some more.  And I love what I am learning and I love the fellowship of this program.  So I am glad I am going.  If you would like more information about the program you can find it at   



When I was a kid we used to play this game called Sardines.  We would play it in a totally darkened house.  My parents didn't like the game so we would wait until they went out and talk the babysitter into it.  

The person who was "it" went and hid while everybody else stayed in the bathroom and counted to something like 100.  "It" found a really good place to hide, like in the utility room behind some boxes, or in an obscure closet, or in the shower behind the shower curtain.  The object of the game was to find the player who was it and slip quietly in with them, pressing yourself as tight as possibly against them (hence the name Sardines), waiting for the next person to do the same.  The loser (and the next "it") was the last person to find the whole group.

One of the fun things about the game, or shall I say the scary things about the game, was that it was all done in the dark.  As you were walking around trying to find the person who had hidden, you began to notice that other people were starting to disappear.  Periodically roll calls were taken, to see who was left.  Terror came upon you when you took the roll and found out that nobody answered.  Then you had to search the dark house alone, trying to stumble upon the group of Sardines. 

I guess there were a few reasons my parents didn't like this game.  Maybe stumbling around in the dark had something to do with it.  Maybe they didn't want us to break the furniture or ourselves.  But like I said, we could always count on the good ol' babysitter to play it with us.  I remember the day when I was it.  My parents pulled into the driveway and entered the house.  "What are you doing, get out of there," my mother said.  I was standing up in the bay window with her beautiful glass objects, my body pressed against them.  

Another time when we were playing the game we heard an intruder.  The babysitter pulled us all into a bedroom.  "This is what we are going to do" she said as she gave us all our assignments,  "when he comes in, Krissy, you are going to hit him with your Beautiful Krissy The Doll With The Growing Hair.  Dearie, you are going to bite his leg.  Valerie, you are going to whack him with this hairbrush..."  There was six of us and we all had our assignments.  This was no young babysitter either.  I remember her being 16 or 17 at least.  And she was going to have us "beat up" this intruder!  Slowly the door opened.  There was total darkness (because we had just been playing Sardines).  My parents entered the bedroom and said, "What are you all doing?"  We were relieved to know that they were the intruders.  I don't remember for how long after that she remained our babysitter...    

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Get Me Out Of Here!

Help!  I have been trapped inside of this apartment since Thursday night.  That is when I got back from the Emergency Room.  I had a terrible asthma attack.  Not only did I have trouble breathing, but it felt like a fifty-pound weight was pressing on my chest.  The doctor ordered the usual EKG to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack (which I knew I wasn't, I always feel a tremendous weight on my chest when I get these attacks), and after the EKG I had a nebulizer treatment.  After that I had to stay for awhile for stabilization and observation.

When it was time to go I was still in a lot of pain.  In the past the breathing treatment has usually taken away the pain.  "I want you to stay home and rest till Monday night," the doctor said.  Yikes, I thought, this is Thursday night.  "Take four puffs of your inaler instead of two, every four hours.  And put moist heat on your chest at least four times a day for half an hour at a time."  Then he sent me on my way.  

Well I thought I would enjoy the time off.  But boy has it been boring.  I have had other symptoms, so I have laid in bed a lot, but one can only do that so much.  My computer is even starting to bore me!

Well here it is Tuesday and I can officially go out now, but as luck would have it, I can't go anwhere in the car.  I am having car troubles.  They can't fit me in until tomorrow afternoon.  I can't walk anywhere because I think it is the hot, hazy humidity that gave me this attack in the first place.  I am going to have to stay in air conditioned places all summer.  No spending time outdoors for me.  But at least after the car gets fixed I can look at different walls than these apartment walls!  I think Wal-Mart would look pretty good about right now...     



Monday, May 24, 2004

My Computer Went On Vacation

Yesterday my computer went on vacation.  I used it a little bit too much yesterday, and when it came time to make an entry, the thing up and revolted.  It acted all kinds of crazy.  It froze up on me.  It gave me error messages.  It wouldn't close down a few times.  So when it came right down to it, it showed me who was boss, it was not going to allow me to do an entry!  So this entry is a day late and a dollar short. 

Well, at least I figured out how to do graphics.  This is my first graphic. (Thanks Lori ).

Well, off I go.  Wish me better luck on the computer today!   

Saturday, May 22, 2004

We Are Camel People

                     Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #6

My best friend from childhood was Patti.  We did lots of things together.  But one of our favorite things was our club activities.  We invented our own club.  It had four members: me, Patti, my sister Arielle, and Patti's sister Debbie.  The name of the Club was The Camel Club.  The motto and secret saying was: We Are Camel People, Camel People We Are!  Our mascot was, well, you guessed it, a camel.  I had a plastic camel that we used.  We must have thought we were Beduins or something.

The club did have some useful purpose.  We produced a little magazine.  It had lots of articles and lots of fun stuff to do in it.  Everybody was assigned something different to do in it.  I think we all aspired to be writers back then!

Today Patti isn't a writer, but she does work in a used bookstore.  She absolutely loves her job.  She lives on the beach along the east coast.  She buys books to read.  We stay in touch on occasion by email.  Neither of us hold a fascination of camels anymore.                 

Friday, May 21, 2004

Wacky Warning Labels


            Wacky Warning Labels

In 1997, Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch (M-LAW) began a contest to expose how frivolous lawsuits, and a concern about potential frivolous lawsuits, have led to a new phenomenon: the wacky warning label. 

Now manufacturers, not wanting a law suit, often slap common sense warnings on their product... "just in case." 

Over the years, M-LAW  has received hundreds of warning labels from people around the world.  M-LAW Verifies the authenticity of each label and selects the 'TOP 5' for each year.  Here are some of the previous winners:

~A five-inch fishing lure which sports three steel hooks and cautions users that it is, "Harmful if swallowed"

~A warning on an electric router made for carpenters cautions: "This product not intended for use as a dental drill."

~A warning label found on a baby stroller cautions the user to "Remove child before folding"

~A prescription of sleeping pills says, "Warning, May cause drowsiness"

~A sticker on a toilet at a public facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan warns: "Recyled flush water unsafe for drinking"

~A CD player has this warning: "Do not use the Ultradisc2000 as a projectile in a catapult"

~An 'Aim-n-Flame' fireplace ligher cautions, "Do not uses near fire, flame or sparks"

~A label on a hand-held massager advises consumers not to use "while sleeping or unconscious"

~A cartridge for a laser printer warns, "Do not eat toner"

~An iron warns users: "Never iron clothes while they are being worn"

~A Wheel on a wheelbarrow warns: "Not intended for highway use"

~A cardboard car sunshield that keeps sun off the dashboard warns, "Do not drive with sunshield in place:

~A Bathroom Heater says:  "This product is not to be used in bathrooms"

~A can of self-defense pepper spray warns users: "May irritate eyes"

~A warning on a pair of shin guards manufactured for bicyclists says: "Shin pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover"

~A popular manufactured fireplace log warns: "Caution - Risk of Fire"

~A box of birthday cake candles says: "DO NOT use soft wax as ear plugs or for any other function that involves insertion into a body cavity." 

~A 12-inch-high storage rack for compact disks warns: "Do not use as a ladder."

~A warning label on a smoke detector reads: "Do not use the Silence Feature in emergency Situations.  It will not extinguish a fire."

~A warning on a sled reads: "Beware: sled may develop high speed under certain snow conditions.

~ And now for one more, one I think is one of the strangest labels: found on a bottle of drain cleaner: "If you do not understand, or cannot read, all directions cautions and warnings, do not use this product." 

If the person can't read, they are not going to be able to read the warning label!                         

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Dreaming Journals

Last night I dreamt I was writing an entry in my journal.  Then when I was done writing the entry, I went outside, got in my covered wagon, and started to go across country.  Only the front of the wagon locked me out, and I was trapped in the back, and the wagon was careening out of control.  I felt my life was careening out of control.  The wagon raced along every twist and turn and I couldn't stop it.

The night before I had had another dream (seriously folks!) where I was writing in my journal.  When I was finished, all my J-Land friends were angry with me for some reason.  I feared they would never want to read my journal again. 

Gee, do you think I am taking this thing to seriously?!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Little Miss Runner's Legs

               Congrats Little Miss Runner's Legs!

My little niece (age 7) was in a race this weekend.  She asked her parents to be in it because she wanted to run it.  It was a mile long!  I think she was crazy (I mean courageous, bless her heart!).  I remember being in elementary school and having to run the 300 yard thingy - I almost threw up.  I was always with the kids in the back walking and the teacher would be screaming, "Come on, come on, run in, run in."  But I couldn't.  As I recall, this was third grade.  And here Little Miss Runner's Legs had decided to run a mile long race in first grade mind you.  (I am calling her "Miss Runner's Legs" because her mom wants her to remain annonymous, and her mom says she has runner's legs like her dad.)  When I heard this weekend that she had signed up to run, I didn't think she would make it to the end.  After all, what seven year old has any concept of a mile?  But she made it all the way.  And she was beaming because she "won an award and a t-shirt".  Never mind that all the other kids that finished "won" also.  She was very proud of herself.  And she should be too!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

A Pic of Chelsea

                             Isn't She Beautiful?

Some of you have asked what Chelsea looks like.  Here is a photo to put with the image.  She of course is the young lady in the photo.  The little boy is her youngest brother Sammy.  She just adores him.  Well, they adore one another.  Well, didn't I tell you Chelsea just sparkles and shines? 

Happy Graduation Chelsea

       Congratulations Chelsea

Last night was my niece Chelsea's high school graduation.  She is so special.  Let me tell you a little bit about her.

Chelsea is as smart as a whip.  By the time she was six months old she was saying 40 words.  By the time she was nine months old she had a vocabulary of 100 words.  When she was a year old she could speak in sentences, say her ABCs and had a repertoire of songs she had memorized to sing from at any time.  Her favorite one to sing was "I Love You Lord".  The doctor said she was so verbal because she never slept more than eight hours in any given 24 hour period, so she picked up a lot of language skills.

One of Chelsea's favorite games to play when she was a baby was "Scooby Doo".  We would say "Scooby Doo" to her and she would shimmy like Scooby Doo the dog, trying to take off running.  Another game was "Bonkerhead".  When her Mommy said "Bonkerhead" to her, she would bang her head into  her Mom's head.  Mostly though, Chelsea didn't like playing with toys, she just wanted to sit with the grownups and talk.  She still does this - sits with her friends or with grownups and talks. 

Chelsea also liked to spend a lot of time with her little brother Matthew.  Her Mommy (Valerie) says she protected him a lot.  Now that Chelsea is 18 and Matt is 16, I think he protects her some now!

Chelsea was a really good girl growing up.  Her Mommy recalls her being "attached to her hip" for quite a number of years!  And she never did anything without asking.

Chelsea has been active in ice-skating, soccer, softball and karate. 

Chelsea is beautiful both inside and out.  (No, I am not prejudiced, REALLY I am not!)  She has a beautiful smile.  When she enters a room, she lights it up.  She has dark blonde hair and blue eyes.

She is a hard worker.  She has held a job at a pizza place for two years.

She is active in her church.  She has a good social conscience.  She has been doing service projects and mission trips with her church every year. 

Her Mommy said I had to put something in here so that we would know that she was a real person (because so far she sounds too perfect) so here goes:

Oh, I just can't do it, sorry Valerie, Chelsea IS perfect.  I will just put the thing in about how she makes faces like Oma (her Grandma).

Chelsea, you make the family faces that you inherited from Oma.  I think you know what I am talking about, LOL!

Congratulations again and love you Baby Girl. I am so proud of you.  Love, Aunt Krissy      

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Smarty Jones and a Quarter Pounder

               Smarty Jones and a Quarter Pounder

Sorry there was no entry yesterday.  My sister from another state came up for a visit.  Now I can't tell you her name, and I can't tell you the state.  Let's just say that she is nervous about Journal Land, and worries about her safety.  I don't know why, because I don't know how anybody would identify her.  But at any rate, I will honor her wishes.  So I will change her name to protect the innocent (or guilty?).  I thought about it for awhile and decided we would call her Arielle.  Because she keeps saying she is unique, and I think she is exotic, and I thought Arielle was a somewhat unique and exotic name, so Arielle it is.  Henceforth in this journal she will be called Arielle.

Arielle and I had so much fun this weekend!  We talked for hours.  One thing in my family that we like to do is talk.  We also went over to my parents house, and my parents, Arielle, my sister Valerie (real name), and I went out to a Chinese restaurant.  Another thing my family loves to do is eat!  Then we went back to my parents house, talked some more, and watched the horse race.

My Dad asked us to place our bets.  He picked two horses, and put down $500 on each.  I forget who they were, but neither of them ended up winning.  I picked Smarty Jones to come in first.  I was a little concerned about my pick, because I didn't know if he could keep up his winning streak, but he is definitely my favorite, so I picked him.  I told my Dad I was putting $10 down (I was never one to take big risks!).  Then they began putting the horses into their stalls.  Arielle liked how rebellious and forceful the horse was who wouldn't get into his stall, so she picked him to come in one of the top three places.  She didn't tell us how much she was betting. 

The race started.  It was so exciting!  And Smarty Jones won!  Does that mean I won $10 I asked my dad?  "No, Krissy," he said. "you win six dollars."  "Then I am going to take my money and get myself a Quarter Pounder.  I don't like those much, I would like to have something healthier, but what else can you get for six dollars?"  Arielle said, "I bet a million bucks, how much do I get?"  "You did not bet a million bucks, you can't decide after the horse wins how much you bet!"  "Yes I can, this is just for fun," she said.  "Well then you have won two million," my Dad replied.  Arielle promised to take us to Hawaii and all kinds of things.

After staying all day at my parents, Arielle and I went back to my apartment and had a good night's sleep.  We went to Mass in the morning and talked some more and promised to call each other soon... 



Friday, May 14, 2004


A week ago John threw out Willy.  Willy (as in Free Willy) was a blue helium dolphin.  Willy was a survivor.  He lasted three weeks!  You are probably wondering what a grown man of forty-two was doing with a dolphin balloon.  Well, my sister Val and I gave him to John as a survivorhip gift.  You see, John is a survivor like Willy.  John is a cancer survivor.  Let me digress for a minute.

One morning five years ago John called me up.  "I have cancer," he said.  "No you do not," I replied.  "The nurse called me at 7:30, woke me up, and told me I did," he said.  "You must have dreamt it," I countered.  "Nurses don't call at 7:30 in the morning at your house and tell you you have cancer.  Doctors call you, and tell you to come into their office, and tell you in person.  You had better call back and make sure you didn't dream it or something."  I got off the phone.  Five minutes later he calls back.  "The nurse put me through to the doctor.  I have cancer.  Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma."  I was stunned.  I thought I was going to fall against the wall.  I couldn't breathe.  I felt like the life was being drained out of me.  How could this be?  One day you are normal and the next day this.  Well not exactly normal.  He had gone into surgery a few days before for something else and when he had come out the surgeon had said, "We found a lump, but don't worry, I am sure it is probably nothing.  But just to be safe, I am going to do a biopsy."  Because he said not to worry, we hadn't and now this.  How naive of us.  Before hanging up, the doctor told John to make an appointment with the oncologist ASAP.

The oncologist was very negative in a lot of ways.  He told John basically that he wasn't going to live, but that he should get treatments, and that would allow him to live a little bit longer.  But that he didn't think that he would live.  The best that he could hope for was to live long enough for a cure to arrive before he died.  Ouch was an understatement.  John has had a total of four oncologists since his diagnosis.  Only since his last oncologist has he gotten a really positive one.  Good thing he carried on despite them!

John decided to pull himself together and fight with everything that was within himself to live.  He did not care what any doctor told him no matter what - he was determined to live.  He ignored negative after negative statement.  One good thing was that he was given an experimental treatment.  It worked fantastically well on him.  But it also weakened him.  He was in the hospital three or four times that year.  He almost died as many.  It is easy to get an infection during chemo, and if you do, you have to go to the hospital immediately.  Once his temperature got up to 104 degrees.  They were going to cut open his chest the next day to see what kind of lung infection he had to try and bring it under control.  Miraculously it cleared up over night!

John was a real trooper during chemo.  He took it with real positivity.  I really believe his will to live is one of the things that got him through.  And his great treatment.  And the prayers of so many people.  He was prayed over by my local priest, and prayed by people from every denomination out there. 

So there came the day when we were in the oncologist's office for a checkup and the oncologist, looked at him and said, you don't have cancer anymore.  I about near feel against the wall.  I couldn't breathe.  "What did you just say?"  I asked.  I didn't think I heard him correctly.  "He doesn't have cancer anymore."

We were too grateful to know what to do.

Every year John goes back and every year the same thing.  A clean CT scan, a clean bill of health.

So this year Valerie and I had a little party for John.  We took him to his favorite pizza joint, got him a gift certificate from Barnes and Noble, and bought him a giant Willy.


Thursday, May 13, 2004

Knock Knock

About three weeks ago I was sitting on my couch watching TV when I heard a Knock Knock on my door.  I  got up and looked out the screendoor.  Nobody.  I opened the door real quickly, thinking that if teenagers were pulling a prank or something, they wouldn't have time to sprint off if I caught them in time.  Again, nothing.  Mr. Michael, my beloved Maine Coon cat, darted out the door as I opened it.  Drat!  Now I would have to go catch him.  I fetched him and put him back in the house.  Then I went back and resumed watching my show.

Two weeks later John and I were sitting on the couch talking.  Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock.  I went over and checked the door.  Nobody.  I opened the door.  No one.  I went back and sat down.  Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock.  And with such insistence too!  John got up this time and looked outside.  He opened the door to check to see who it was.  Michael made a sprint for it.  Darn that cat!  We both sat down.  This time it was getting spooky.  Well, I said, "I can't be hallucinating, because you heard it too, and we can't be having joint hallucinations!"  A few seconds later it came again.  Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock.  We looked over and just began to laugh so hard.  Michael's paw was on the door and he was knocking on the door!  Case solved!  He knew that when someone knocked on the door, we would open it, and that was his chance to run out.  So he learned to knock on the door himself!  He is really too much.

Now for those of you who are sick of me talking about my "baby", and think it is akin to watching home movies or something, I have an excuse today.  The AOL theme for this week is "a tribute to our pets".  So don't complain to me...  


Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Roadside Objects

Today John and I were doing errands.  As he was driving along, I noticed the retread of a tire alongside the road.  About two feet from that, on the shoulder of the road, was a goose laying an egg!  

A little farther along we came upon a large wooden sign.  One of those homemade signs that say something like "Six ears of corn for a dollar".  Only you couldn't tell what it said because it had been nailed on upside down!

The next thing that I saw that I thought was kind of curious was a road sign that said "Bridge May Be Icy".  Wow, interesting since it was 91 degrees outside.  Everytime I see that sign I chuckle.

I also saw several signs that read "DUI - you can't afford it".  To me that is a bizarre campaign.  Is money really going to stop somebody from drinking too much?  If something was going to stop them, I would think it would be not wanting to kill themself or somebody else, not worrying about saving a few bucks.

I also saw a sign that said "Falling Rocks".  On the shoulder of the road were lots of rocks that had fallen.  Gee, I thought, they are warning you that a rock might fall on you.  Like, what are you supposed to do if you see it coming?  Sure enough, I saw one really HUGE rock that had made it down into the middle of the road at an earlier time.  We straddled it and drove on.  I am glad it hadn't fallen when we had been driving by.

I also saw three Deer Crossing Signs.  I was hoping to see a deer, but it is probably good that I didn't.  If it had jumped out in front of the car it would have been a bad thing for us all...  

Monday, May 10, 2004

A Goat Named Don

"Let's go buy some flowers for my garden," my Dad said to me one day a few years ago.  Little did I know I was in for a little adventure.  We headed off and after a short while I asked him, "Where are we going?"  "To the Kenegy's" he said.  I didn't recall ever hearing of that garden shop.

Shortly we pulled up to a dwelling.  We were greeted by a slightly stout Amish woman.  No, I am getting ahead of myself.  We were greeted by a goat named Don.  He was tied by a rope to a tree.  My Dad proudly pointed to the goat and said, "That goat is named after me!"  The Amish family liked my Dad so much they named the goat after him.

My Dad and I proceeded into the house.  The Kenegy's were so glad to see us.  They would not have it that we would just buy the flowers and leave.  Mrs. Kenegy insisted that I take a tour of her house and her yard and her greenhouse where she grew all her flowers and plants.  She was very proud of everything.  Well not proud.  Amish people are not allowed to be proud.  Let's just say she seemed to be happy with what she had.  And she had a nice household for a simple one. 

After the tour, we went into the house.  We sat around and talked.  Then Mr. Kenegy pulled out his Kenegy roots book.  We spent some of the afternoon talking about his roots, nothing specific, just how to research them.  He didn't even know if the people in the Kenegy book were his relatives.  Yikes, this was the boring part of the afternoon!

Meanwhile, Mrs. Kenegy got up and busied herself with something at the oven.  Curious I got up to see what she was doing.  She opened the oven and pulled out an Amish dress!  I gasped, "You dry your dress in the oven?"  And she said right back, "Yes, don't you?" in a playful way.

Then I went and sat down at the kitchen table again.  Mr. Kenegy put back the geneology book and got out a bowl of walnuts and a nutcracker.  He began painstakingly cracking walnuts.  "I have a black walnut tree.  I shell these and sell them to make money."  Gee I thought, how much money can you make by growing your own walnuts and shelling them for hours?  Such an industrious man.

While we were sitting there Mrs Kenegy got up and got us fresh gingersnaps that she had made (must have been before she cooked her dress).  She insisted we eat them.

Somehow one of them brought up homosexuality.  Mr. Kenegy said, "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."  I agree with him.  I don't know what my Dad thinks.  If he does disagree, I doubt he would say anything out of respect for the Amish man.

The afternoon wore on and they insisted that we be sent off with gingersnap cookies.  They were such wonderful people. 

I have heard that Amish are standoffish, but the ones around here will invite you right into their homes sometimes, the Kenegy's are not the only Amish family around here that has let my family in...

Sunday, May 9, 2004

Headless Barbie Doll

The most memorable birthday present I've ever given...

Every week another journal writer, John Scalzi, gives everybody a journal assignment to do.  This weekend's assignment is: Share the most memorable birthday present you've ever gotten -- or given.

I figured I would get in trouble if I wrote about the most memorable present I ever received.  Somebody would feel left out.  So I decided to write about the most memorable birthday present I've ever given...

Now, John asked for the most memorable, not the best.  I gave this present to my Dad.  I am sure it was not the best present he ever got, but perhaps the most memorable.  If he doesn't remember it, I would be surprised. 

I was about six years old.  I didn't have any money.  I wanted to give my Dad something really special.  Since I didn't have the money to buy him anything, and the time for him to open gifts was fast approaching, I frantically searched the house for a gift.  And then I found it.  The perfect gift.  A naked Barbie Doll.  And I popped the head off.  I proudly presented it to my older sister Therese and immediately she said, "Oh, that is a stupid idea.  He wouldn't want that."  "Oh yes he would,"  I replied.  "What is he going to do with a headless Barbie Doll?"  "This is not a headless Barbie Doll, this is the Boogy Man."  When we were kids there was something that lived down in the playroom named the Boogy Man.  See, it was kind of dark down there, so something scary lived down there.  And I imagined he must be headless.  Both my sister and my Mother tried to convince me not to give the headless Barbie to my Dad but I would have none of it.

That reminds me of the Mother's Day when I was about nine and I went to the store and bought my Mom a package of six WishNik rings with glowing pink hair...

Saturday, May 8, 2004

Happy Mother's Day

                  Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all you Moms out there.  You are a in a league of your own.  You are someone special, someone to be praised.  You are doing one of the most difficult jobs in the world, yet one of the most rewarding.  You are shaping the future of our world. 

I want to take a moment to say something about my Mom.  I call her "Little Mommy" because she is about 5'2".  The one thing that her children say about her is that she is "gracious".  She is one of the most gracious women I have ever met in my life.  All of us girls aspire to be like her.  She is also gentle.  She has raised five girls and one boy.  (All wonderful children, of course!)  Happy Mother's Day to you Mom and I love you!

I wanted to give everyone a chance to put a comment down.  Tell everyone about the most memorable Mother's Day you ever had.  Or the most memorable Mother's Day gift you ever got.  Or the most memorable thing your child ever said to you on Mother's Day.  Whatever sparks your memory.

And have a great Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2004

Today I Stopped And Smelled The Roses

Today I stopped and smelled the roses.  Well, a rose anyway.  John brought it home for me.  It is a deep burgandy surrounded by lots of feathery greenery.  He put it in a budvase and proudly presented it to me.  He is such a sweetheart. 

I have been stopping to smell the roses all day long today.  I watched the birds as they played outside my window and hopped around in my bush.  Green finches and lots of sparrows.  I even saw a hummingbird.  John says there is one species native to the area.  They fly to my bush because I put a bird feeder in there.  Michael likes to sit in the window and watch the birds.  It keeps him entertained for hours on end.  He pretends he is stalking them.  It doesn't seem to affect the birds.  I guess they know he can't get out through the screen.  I am glad Michael has something that keeps him busy and makes him happy.

I smell the roses, or should I say the pansies, as I look at my beautiful pot of purple pansies outside my window in my little front yard.  They are gorgeous. 

Something else I did refreshing today was go to Mass.  Nothing better than Mass in the afternoon.

Oh, there are so many other ways I smelled the roses today, so many other things I did.  I did some good Bible reading and prayer.  It was related to a weightloss group I am participating in.  I promise to write about that soon.

So many simple things to be grateful for.  

Monday, May 3, 2004

Mr. Michael The Maine Coon Cat

Mr. Michael The Maine Coon Cat, or Michael as he is known for short, is my cat of five years.  I rescued him from a kitty mill.  He was near death when I found him.  The vet warned me against buying him, but I did anyway, and I nursed him back to health.  He has been my constant companion ever since.

Maine Coon cats are very social creatures.  They follow you around wherever you go.  They want to be part of the family.  In some ways they are more like dogs then cats (perish the thought!).  At any rate, they are not aloof like a lot of cats.  They are extremely friendly.  And they are the most intelligent of all the cats because they have the biggest brains (and the largest bodies also - the males often grow to be 18 pounds and are still not overweight!).  It is said that they have the intelligence of a two to three year old child.  

That is my Michael!  Social and intelligent!  He follows me around everywhere.  He wants to be with me.  He doesn't like when I leave and wants me to be back soon.  (Does sound like a dog, doesn't he?!)  He likes to sleep with me.  He gets jealous if my boyfriend comes over and sits on the couch and spends time with me. 

Michael knows a lot of English.  He performs a lot of commands.  Often John and I will have to spell so he doesn't know what we are talking about!  He also loves to play.  One of his favorite games is fetch.  If you throw him and object that is small enough for him to fit in his mouth, he will retrieve it!  And he absolutely love tub hockey.  He takes the object and jumps into the tub with it, and bats it around the tub, trying to score points it seems. 

He seems to always be jumping in that tub.  Because he loves water (as do all Maine Coons).  He tries to drink any leaks that come out of the spiget or lick any water off the floor of the tub.  And then he does something that is really disgusting, he drinks out of the toilet.  I can't figure it out, because he ALWAYS has a fresh bowl of water.  John and I are always saying "Michael, have you been swimming in the toilet again?"  And he loves to dump his water bowl over, so he can drink the water as it flows onto the ground, because he loves flowing water, and because he loves to drink water off the floor.  So I had to get one of those bowls that was made in a way that wouldn't spill.  It was really hard to find, it was heavy and in a funky shape.  

Michael is a beautiful cat.  Maine Coons get their names because they look striped like racoons.  He is a beautiful long haired brown tabby with stripes on his body and his big bushy tail.  He has a large beautiful face with a big M on it (as do most Maine Coons).  He sports a beautiful mane around his neck (that is a Maine Coon thing also), especially in winter.  He has a beautiful voice.  He coos and says "gung"  instead of meowing.  Yes, a common Maine Coon trait.  And he weighs 21 lbs.  And yes, he is overweight, and yes I am bad, I give him table scraps.  When he keeps me company when I am sick, looking over me worried, or keeps me warm in the wintertime, or fusses over me in the many ways he does, how could I not give him food, when he looks at me with those sad kittycat eyes?  

Let's see, in closing, some of the funniest things he has ever done:  in watching my boyfriend write with a pencil, he has put a pencil between his paws and tried to write, he has tried to type on the computer after watching me, and yes, once actually dialed up the internet (yes, I am sure it was an accident!), and after watching John do the dishes, once he got up on the chair and stuck his paw in the dishwater and swished it around as if trying to wash dishes.  All of these are true stories!  Speaking of paws, if I say "paw", he will hold paws with me.  He will put his paw on my foot.  It is like we are holding hands.  He often does this when I don't say "paw".  He just comes over and puts his paw on my foot for about five minutes to hold paws with me!  It is so sweet.  With John it is different.  With John he wants to play a game; he comes over and bites John's foot!  He also does this when he is mad at John!  But he would NEVER bite me.  Even when I have to brush him, which is sometimes everyday.

Enough already!       

Sunday, May 2, 2004

Sometimes I Think

Sometimes I think.  I think about life.  I think about love.  I think about serious things.  I think about very serious things like life and death and heaven and hell and faith and such as that.  I think about silly things.  And funny things.  I think about everyday and mundane things.  This is a blog about my thoughts.  I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride.

I am writing my mood down as Surprised.  The reason I write surprised is because I have never created a website before.  Of course aol makes it dog easy!  I am pretty computer illiterate.  I have only been using the internet for three years.  I went my whole life without using a computer.  How I did that, I have no idea!

Well, I hope I enjoy writing this blog.  And I hope you will enjoy reading it.  Writing journals is something that I have been doing for quite awhile.  I kept journals throughout my whole childhood, and throughout my twenties, and even throughout some of my thirties.  I hope I have something interesting to say...

God bless and take care.

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